Nominations for the 2021 Primary Industries New Zealand Awards saw a 50 percent jump from last year. This shows the amount of innovation and leadership going on in the sector as well as the resilience to soldier on through all manner of trials such as COVID-19, droughts, floods and so much more. The PINZ Awards bring everyone working for the benefit of the primary industries and New Zealand together and acknowledge the need to celebrate what is being achieved.
The increase in nominations resulted in some tough decisions for the judges this year. With various challenges ahead, robust science, entrepreneurial spirit and cross-agency teamwork should be encouraged and celebrated.
The winners of the seven award categories will be announced at the PINZ Summit in Christchurch on 6th July 2021.
The Team Award, sponsored by BASF, recognises a team of primary professionals in New Zealand who have advocated for New Zealand’s primary industries, achieved success, or developed meaningful outcomes to an issue or problem facing the sector. The team can consist of multiple people from multiple organisations and must have a minimum of 2 people to be considered a team.
NZ Pork – Anticipated the effects that COVID-19 would have on both pig farmers and butchers. The team’s effort avoided animal welfare issues and productivity and financial loss for NZ pig farmers. The work they initiated with Ministry for Primary Industries got the Government to purchase surplus pork at cost for the country’s food banks. This deal or process accounted for 40% of the surplus NZ pork and achieved both relief for NZ food banks and pig farmers under pressure.
Surfing for Farmers – Pressures are building on farmers in all sorts of areas – as well as the impacts of COVID-19 – this team did a lot to improve the mental health of farmers around the country by getting them in the water and having some fun. Farmers often don’t leave much time for fun and socialising and the Surfing for Farmers team came through with an activity to solve that, offering lessons to farmers in 16 locations around New Zealand.
GoHort – Career Progression Manager Network – Attracted and encouraged more people into the horticulture industry in NZ. Connecting people with solid training and employment options.
Set of managers hired/assigned regionally to engage with New Zealanders and achieve the team’s goals. A great initiative given the need for more people in the primary industries sector.
Emerging Leader Award
This award, sponsored by Lincoln University, recognises an emerging leader who is new (started in the industry within the last 2 -5 years) to the New Zealand primary sector and demonstrates commitment, passion, and leadership in their chosen career. Nominations should demonstrate the leadership they have shown, the impact this has had on the industry and their commitment to the primary industries. Additionally, they must show how they have made (and can make) developments and progress the sector.
Angus Dowson – Balance Agri Nutrients – After extensive education on his area of specialties, physical geography and remote sensing science, Angus has provided farmers on the ground with precise information about their land. His passion and research at a time when farmers are relying on science more and more to make informed decisions that benefit their business and the environment is crucial. As well as this, Angus has developed the much-needed communications skills to present his work in digestible formats.
Emma Boase – Hort NZ – Emma has gone above and beyond with her contributions to the Horticulture sector in New Zealand. She was the first Career Progression Manager within the horticulture industry and was instigative in the transformation of relationships between Massey and Lincoln Universities that connects education, training and employment in the sector. Her engaging and passionate drive has turned the perspective of the horticulture industry at tertiary institutes around.
Coadette Low – Rathkeale College – The primary industries need more workers, especially younger generations, with the proper skills and knowledge. Coadette has shown great leadership in her education of students at Rathkeale as well as the wider community and other teachers for Agribusiness and Ag and Hort Science. She has extended the subject and has made progress in turning the perspective of the primary industries around, not just for young people.
Innovation and Collaboration Award
The Innovation & Collaboration Project Award, sponsored by Norwood, recognises an individual or team of people who have worked on a project designed to make New Zealand agriculture more efficient and effective. The project can be big or small and includes producers, scientists, investors, industry bodies, external providers and sector leaders.
Hydrogen – Looking for an alternative energy source to replace fossil fuels, which makes up 60% of NZ’s energy needs, through establishing a renewable process known as ‘green hydrogen’. There is a lot of pressure on the primary industries to reduce emissions in New Zealand, so this project is working towards the same goal. With experience, cooperation with other expert organisations and economic capability consideration, this project is thinking about what New Zealanders really need in the future.
Cellulose nanocrystals from New Zealand seaweeds – This is a sustainable and environment friendly project making use of a product with the potential to serve multiple purpose and solve multiple problems. The benefits could include advanced technology developments, use for productivity within the primary industries and finally, New Zealand’s position in the global market of nanocellulose.
Tōtara Industry Pilot – This project has various environmental, economic, social and cultural benefits that go with it. It creates a new regional industry for Northland that is a sustainable and has both production and local benefits. This project is a great example of cooperation and planning to see ensure the project’s potential. The Government continues to advocate for biodiversity and diversification, the use of the native Tōtara tree covers both.
Outstanding Contribution Award
This award recognises a New Zealand based individual within the primary sector, who has been considered a leader in their field of work for 20 years or more. The winner of this award consistently supports their local community and champions the needs of fellow colleagues. This award is sponsored by Massey Ferguson.
Richard Lucas – Lincoln University – Plant and Ag science is always needed to keep farmers ahead of the game and giving them the ability to farm smart for produce and the environment. Richard dedicated many years to Lincoln University and is highly regarded for the education he passed on by both students and farmers across multiple generations. Even in retirement, Richard offers his expertise, often without charge, for the good of New Zealand and those that farm it.
Malcolm Bailey – Dairy Companies Association of NZ – Malcolm has taken on multiple leadership roles to act in the best interests of the primary industries. He has taken on National President of Federated Farmers, Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand chairman, International Business Forum chairman, and Red Meat Profit Partnership chairman to name a few. Malcolm has shown character that is much needed in the primary sector – he gets into it, steps up to represent and isn’t afraid of the difficult conversations.
Tony Cleland – FarmRight – Not only was he the founder, but Tony has given 20 years to the role of director/chair of FarmRight. From there he grew the company as well as being a director of FMG for 14 years. Tony’s contribution to Southland and NZ agriculture is extensive with efforts on the winter grazing rules and being a member of the M.Bovis review group along with many other contributions to primary industry groups.
Science and Research Award
This award, sponsored by Yashili, recognises either an individual or a team of scientists or researchers in New Zealand, who have developed new processes, initiatives or discoveries which will add value to New Zealand’s primary industries. The team can consist of multiple people from multiple organisations and must have a minimum of 3 people to be considered a team.
Professor Jon Hickford, Dr Huitong Zhou, Freeman Fang – Scion – This team of researchers have extensive education including Jonathan and Huitong undertaking internationally recognised research in sheep and cattle genetics. They have contributed gene tests and research that helps New Zealand farmers continue farming healthy, productive livestock that keep the economy flowing. At a time when farmers want to meet the steep emissions targets while operating their business at a profit, gene research in livestock is significant.
Bevin Harris – LIC – Bevin’s work, and leadership of this work, focuses on the application of animal evaluation. For the last 12 years he’s worked on the integration of DNA information – a lot of statistical development. This is a significant challenge as the New Zealand dairy industry has a large cross-bred population, unlike other international dairy industries. He and his team created a model that estimates genotypic and phenotypic information simultaneously. This research is worth around $300 million annually to the NZ dairy industry.
NIWA Led Irrigation Insight Programme – Water is a touchy subject for the primary industries, government, and environmentalists. So, research into precision irrigation is vital and will be well received by people across the primary industries. NIWA’s Irrigation Insight programme will give the when, where, and how much and so many other benefits that will impact the way New Zealand land is used.
Industry Champion Award
The Primary Industry Champion Award is sponsored by Federated Farmers and is intended to enable the primary industries’ community to recognise the efforts of one of its own. This is an award for the grassroots unsung hero, the genuine ‘good bugger’ who has championed their rural community and their industry.
Frances Clement – NZ Pork – Frances has changed many of the ways in which pig farming is conducted in New Zealand. Her passion and expertise as a food technologist has been a driving force in biosecurity and welfare for pig farming and establishing the Pork Quality Improvement Programme in the 1990s.
Tam Jex-Blake – Farmer at Mangapoke – Tam is a hard-working farmer of two sheep and beef farms with her husband Dan. She was a key instigator of Growing Future Farmers (GFF) to up-skill younger generations of farmers – a much needed initiative. The programme has continued to grow and thrive with Tam as the founder.
Kerry Allen – St Paul’s Collegiate School – Kerry is known as a leader and passionate advocator of Agriculture and Horticulture Science teaching for many years. She has put in time out of her job requirements to help develop and create resources used by teachers around New Zealand. One of her many significant achievements was being instrumental is getting AG/Hort Science recognised as an NZQA Scholarship subject.
This award recognises and celebrates a standout food producer in the New Zealand Primary sector. The producer award can be an individual, team or company which has shown success and or considerable growth in either product sales or consumer engagement within the last 12 – 18 months. The producer must be recognised as sustainable, nutritional (if applicable) and maintain an exceptional quality in their production processes.
NIG Nutritionals – This producer has received feedback of its agility and response to continue throughout the impacts of COVID-19 as well as their ability to form widespread international partnerships. They are a go-to for providing high-quality dairy based nutritional products – both within New Zealand and globally.
Silver Fern Farms – Silver Fern Farms now holds a reputation for being a leading and globally successful procurer, processor, marketer and exporter of premium New Zealand red meat. Some of their success lies in their ability to make the story of the red meat produced in New Zealand fun and enlightening for consumers. As well as this their commitment to the communities of New Zealand and giving back shows their passion, such as partnering with Meat the Need to provide meat to City Missions and food banks.
The True Honey Co. – This producer makes the highest grade of Manuka Honey in the world as well as being innovative with how Manuka Honey is used. the True Honey Co. are producing quality products that live up to that ‘best producer of quality food in the world’ rep that New Zealand wants to be known as. They go above and beyond to reach their high standards, including placing hives in dense Manuka forrest that needs helicopter lift out.